History

FBCAHistory

CHURCH HISTORY

We like to define the word “history” as “His Story.”  This provides an apt description of the history of First Baptist Church of Apopka (“FBCA”).  His story, the story of Christ, has been told by many people in the church from 1860 to present.  God has surely sent both ministers and laymen to this church according to His divine purpose.

After a series of associational meetings, FBCA was first organized in 1860 with 21 chapter members when Apopka was known as “The Lodge.”  The pastor was George K. Powell, followed by  Reverend Gandy.  Dissension arose and the church eventually disbanded.

On June 12, 1880, the church was reorganized following a series of meetings led by Sam F. Gove, who served as the first pastor since reorganization.  He preached at night by lamplight.  In 1881, the pastor’s salary was $231.00 a year and the pastor stated he was fully satisfied.  However, in 1881, the church had difficulty paying the pastor’s salary.

Some very notable men have been pastors of FBCA.  Dr. L. D. Geiger served as Secretary and Treasurer of the State Mission Board.  The headquarters of the State Mission Board were locate din Apopka at that time (1902).  He died as a resident of Apopka and was buried in a local cemetery.  E. M. Dunklin served as a missionary to the Everglades.  The Seminoles named him the “Jesus Man.”  Before his death, he founded 40 churches and missions.  Dr. D. J. Blocker became President of Shorter College in Rome, Georgia.  R. W. Thiat became one of the South’s finest evangelists.  Two other pastors served as president of the Florida Baptist Convention.  Two pastors were authors and Dr. Finley Edge was a Professor of Religious Education at the Southern Baptist Seminary.

Before the first church building was constructed, services were held in the public school.  The original church was in the vicinity of Edgewood Cemetery, as was the main part of town.  In 1908, the church bought property across the street and built a new church.  In 1924, the church purchased its first pastorium.

Rev. Miles Patterson served the church as pastor the longest and was the only one to be called on two different occasions.  It was under his leadership that the education building was erected and goals set to build a new sanctuary and pastorium.  These were completed while Hugh Horne was pastor.  On Easter Sunday 1960, the building fund goal was set at $3,000.00.  The cornerstone was laid that day.  The inscription reads, “Jesus Christ, the Chief Cornerstone.”  Copies of valuable church documents, pictures, letters and other items were placed in the cornerstone with the understanding that it would be opened in 100 years…in the year 2060.  The three story education building was started and completed while Dr. Allen Higginbotham was pastor.

Perhaps the most outstanding characteristic of our church has been her missionary spirit.  In 1882, each member was assessed $1.00 annually for missions.  Ten percent (10%) was given to the Cooperative Program in 1943, and 22% in 1970.  The church has also organized other churches and missions in the area, a church in Forest City in 1895 and New England Heights in 1949.  New England Heights in turn established Rock Springs Baptist Church,  Trinity Baptist Church was also started from a division of FBCA.

Reverend L. E. McCrae and Mrs. Lucille Granger, along with two deacons, began a Sunday School for a Plymouth Negro migrant camp.  Landon Wilkerson ministered to a low income group of migrants who only spoke Spanish.  Mr. Wilkerson later went to Honduras as a missionary and the church helped support that effort.

In 1962, FBCA called its first Minister of Education and Youth, James B. Hodsdon.  IN 1965, the church called Leon Touchton as Associate Minister with responsibilities in education, music and youth.  We employed our first church secretary in 1955, Ms. Maudie Grice Carr, followed by Wanda Bromall in 1965, and then Joann Bennett.

Women have played an important part in the history of the church.  It was not until 1918 that women were allowed to vote in the church.  Mrs. W. G. Talton was credited with this change.  Although there is no specific time mentioned when the church first elected deaconesses, Miss Jessie Welch and Mrs. W. G. Talton served in this capacity.  The Women’s Missionary Society was organized by Mattie J. Mays in 1881, the first in the Wekiwa Baptist Association.

The first mail-out bulletin was published by Leon touchton and it was called “The First Baptist Builder.” 

Music has always been special in our church.  Christine King formed the first choir and Miss Margaret Shepherd was the first pianist for the choir.

New methods of telling “His Story” have been added to the old ones, but it is still the same story. . . . .the story of Christ and His crucifixion.  The church will continue telling His Story through the grace of God throughout the immediate area and around the world!  The words of the hymn writer, Fanny J. Crosby, are appropriate in reviewing the past 162 years. . . “To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Has Done!”

 

Pastors Serving FBCA from 1880 to Now

  1.    Rev. Sam F. Gove:  September 11, 1880 to August 1881
  2.    Dr. J. F. B. Mays:  September 1, 1881 until his death in December 1883
  3.    Rev. Butts of Orlando was elected to fill the unexpired term but there is no record of his ever having preached for the           church.
  4.    Rev. Lucian Drury:  January 1, 1885 to September 13, 1891
  5.    Rev. Walter D. Jolley:  March 12, 1892 until his death on July 9, 1883
  6.    Rev. Robert L. Lovell:  October 7, 1893 to March 10, 1894
  7.    Dr. J. C. Porter:  March 1894 to August 1894
  8.    Dr. L. D. Geiger:  September 8, 1984 to May 25, 1902
  9.    Rev. W. R. Lambert:  May 25, 1902 to August 1902
  10.    Rev. E.M.C. Dunklin:  September 14, 1902 to September 13, 1903
  11.    Rev. D. J. Blocker:  October 25, 1903 to May 22, 1904
  12.    Rev. H. B. Gibbons:  April 24, 1904 to June 11, 1905
  13.    Rev. J. A. Richardson:  October 22, 1905 to August 5, 1906
  14.    Rev. R. W. Thoit:  January 7, 1907 to March 5, 1908
  15.    Rev. R. N. Cate:  October 25, 1908 to February 28, 1909
  16.    Dr. T. C. Douglass:  October 1910 to May 1916 (1910 interim until July 1911.  He was called as a regular pastor in             1916 but passed away before he could serve in that capacity)
  17.    Rev. A. V. Pickern:  June 23, 1909 to September 1910
  18.    Rev. S. R. Bowman:  March 24, 1912 (No mention of his resignation)
  19.    Dr. E. Lee Smith:  October 15, 1912 to September 26, 1915
  20.    Rev. W. C. Foster:  October 1916 to February 25, 1918 (never officially the pastor, he was referred to as “acting                 pastor”)
  21.    Dr. W. T. Hundley:  March 31, 1918 to (records lost as to length of his service as pastor)
  22.    Rev. H. W. Buckles:  January 23, 1923 to (records lost as to length of his service as pastor)
  23.    Rev. J. N. Ford:  October 1924 to (records lost as to length of his service as pastor)
  24.    Rev. O. T. Moncrief:  November 7, 1926 to April 27, 1932
  25.    Dr. Albert Carnett:  July 1932 to February 1, 1935
  26.    Dr. Preston Sellers:  February 6, 1935 to September 3, 1936
  27.    Rev. Sedley Entzminger:  December 2, 1936 to October 1937
  28.    Dr. Findley Edge:  January 19, 1938 to September 12, 1939
  29.    Dr. John C. McCall:  September 12, 1939 to September 2, 1940
  30.    Rev. John R. Martin:  February 2, 1941 to October 1, 1941
  31.    Rev. Miles J. Patterson:  July 1, 1942 to August 3, 1947
  32.    Loys Frink:  February 1, 1948 to November 1, 1949
  33.    Rev. Miles J. Patterson:  December 1, 1949 to November 24, 1958
  34.    Dr. Hugh R. Horne:  May 3, 1959 to January 1961
  35.    Rev. Tom Broomall:  September 1961 to October 1972
  36.    Dr. W. Roy Fisher:  April 17, 1973 to March 5, 1978
  37.    Dr. Ernest R. Campbell:  February 11, 1979 to

 

PASTOR TODAY:  David J. Schorejs, Senior Pastor, Easter Sunday 2014 to Present.